Progress is Not Progress if it Leaves People Behind: Data2X’s Commitment to Gender Data for the Generation Equality Forum

June 29, 2021

From childcare and job stability to affordable, quality healthcare and public safety, the pandemic has made clear that the systems we depend on are fragile and do not provide protections for all. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not just rebuild, but to re-envision these fractured systems in a way that allows everyone—not just a select few—to thrive.

The Generation Equality Forum, virtually kicking off this week in Paris, is a timely moment to get started on that work. At Data2X, our vision is simple: we want to improve women’s and girls’ lives and ensure that their lived experiences, needs, and desires are reflected in the policies that impact their lives. To do this, we need quality gender data. Why? Because we know that the programs and policies designed to improve people’s lives are only as good as the data that informs them.

That’s why we’re committed to ensuring that gender data is at the forefront of any conversation or plan that purports to advance progress on gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, we developed comprehensive guidance on how governments, the private sector, and civil society can make commitments to gender data ahead of the Generation Equality Forum and beyond. The purpose of this guidance and complementary analysis is to assure that Action Coalitions—and policymaking more broadly—are informed by unbiased, quality data that represents the realities women and girls are living.

Because I believe it’s on all of us to do our part, Data2X is making our own commitment to guarantee that gender data is a priority for leaders, starting with the Generation Equality Forum this week and continuing long after the closing ceremony. The full text of our commitment is below, but in short, we will be monitoring and showcasing all gender data commitments made in support of Generation Equality to cultivate accountability, knowledge-sharing, and solutions for advancing gender data.

When I think about the world that I want my children—and everyone’s children—to grow up in, I envision a society in which everyone has the resources they need to live healthy, safe, and comfortable lives. It’s one in which the collection and use of quality gender data is the norm, not an anomaly, because leaders recognize that policies are equitable only if they reflect everyone’s struggles alongside their wins. It’s one in which leaders walk the talk and create policies to improve women’s and girls’ lives that are proactive rather than reactive. And finally, it recognizes that progress is not progress if we leave people behind. I believe that our commitment is just one of many steps to make that vision a reality, but I’m confident in its power to catapult progress on gender equality through gender data.

So as I anticipate the historic Generation Equality Forum this week and look beyond the forum to the horizon of work ahead, I am positive that global commitments to gender data—alongside Data2X’s commitment to track them—will provide a valuable springboard for us to make the collective progress we want to see, a reality.

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